Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dearest Samsonite

Dearest Samsonite,

I still can’t believe you are going to be a year in a few days! You are such a wonderful little boy and this past year with you has been a joy (for the most part). You no longer want to spend hours being snuggled like you used to but you will come lay in my lap while I try to do yoga.  Ever since you started crawling in December you have been sneaking into everything. You may be the reason we have to climb over a fence to get into our kitchen. You started taking steps in April and have been an official walker for a few weeks now. Each day you walk a little further and faster. Currently, you can walk from the living room through the dinning room and into the kitchen in one go. Granted, this is when you and your sister don’t sabotage your path with toys, books, and/or forsaken snacks.  As excited about walking as you are I don’t think you forehead feels the same way. You currently have four bruises on your face from walking tumbles. Usually, you pick yourself back up and keep going but there have been a few times when you need a snuggle to feel better like when you tried to wrestle the chair yesterday that ended with a line shaped bruise across your cheek.

You love playing with your sister and doing what ever she does (she doesn’t always feel the same).  When she is not around you like to look at books by yourself  (cardboard books –you enjoy ripping regular books too much at this time), playing with bocks, chasing balls around the house, and sneaking into anything new. While packing for our move for rotations I have had to be careful about how boxes are stacked because you can scale them as flawlessly as a professional rock climber. The one flaw is that your still not very good at the most important part…descending down the boxes.  Other than eating I would say your favorite thing is when your Daddy wrestles with you! You don’t like being tossed around like your sister did/does (although that fear is quickly vanishing) but you love playing rough. The instant he sits on the floor you start climbing on him to get him to wrestle you. You’re a pretty easygoing kid and as long as there is food and chances to take naps your pretty happy and willing to doing anything.

You have an aptitude for physical activities. You’re curious and am always exploring or investigating things you don’t know about-this can lead to trouble thus, the earlier mention of the kitchen being gated off. You are observant and watch your sister carefully so that you can learn from her. For example, last week you were watching her color with the sidewalk chalk and then did your best to imitate what she was doing. You were excited when you saw the green line show up on the sidewalk. You’re also stubborn and will keep trying something until you figure it out.  Your stubbornness also makes it hard to redirect your focus when you are sneaking into things.  I would say your best quality of all if how friendly and charming you are especially to the ladies at the grocery store. We always meet new people because you are flirting, smiling, and flashing your big blue eyes at them from across the room.  You also lay the charm on pretty thick when you get caught sneaking.

Basically, San-man (as your sister calls you) we love you and your funny ways! The way you splash like crazy in the tub, the way jabber all day long, the way you sneak your sisters food when she isn’t looking, and the way you show joy and excitement for life.  I hope this next your is a great one for you but your welcome to not grow up so fast

Love you to the moon and back,
                                                Mom or Mamamamam as you call me.

Ps. We also call you San-Storm because you have the ability to make huge messes really quickly!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

early morning ramblings

It’s 4:53 AM and I have already been up for two hours. We have been hit with a horrible cold that causes bad coughing and gallons of boogers. Nena wakes up wanting her nose wiped. This last time I wiped her nose I realized I was using one of Sans onsies. It was then I finally just showed her how to wipe her nose on her blankets. Am I desperate or am I just practical? Maybe a little of both? I just know that she gets frustrated trying to sleep because she has “boogies” running profusely out of her nose and cries because “nose noises” AKA the sound her noise makes when sick.  Of course as soon as Nena got back sleep her brother felt like it was his duty to pick up where she left off. He is about two days behind his sister with the cold and got his shots yesterday. My little fat man just wanted to be snuggled so I obliged.  Finally, I had to let him fuss to sleep because I was afraid I would drop him because I was so tired. For anyone wondering why I didn’t have him sleep in my bed it is because The Germ and I share A full size mattress. You read that right A. Full. Sized. Mattress. There simply isn’t room for excess fat much less a baby on that bed (it does keeps us from gaining weight). When I am pregnant my poor husband gets about a foot wide space to sleep on. Anyway, San’s exhaustion kicked in about 4 minutest into his protest and is now asleep. I couldn’t stay awake holding the San-man for the life of me but as soon as my head hit the pillow insomnia kicked in. My mind started racing, which is how I ended up writing this.  I wish there was a switch that I could flip to turn my brain off but then I would end up “Sleeping like a Dad.” My husband is great at getting up with the kids but he doesn’t hear every inhale and exhale in the next bedroom like I can. So even when he gets up with the kids I still wake up so I usually just do it. Besides we are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into his schooling and would rather him do well at school and me try and catch a cat nap during the day. 

So long story short: Today will be a day of cartoons and blessed left overs and thats alright. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Trying not to get swallowed up

I am often asked how we are doing with Justin in medical school. Our first year was pretty great after the first couple of months went by. We were able to find a good balance between school and family life. Justin was learning how to best study and take tests for school. Also my morning sickness was easing off after a couple months and I was able to be a productive member of the family again.

The same time second year it felt like life/school was trying to swallow us whole. The school schedule was more difficult for me to get used to, Justin had even more credits and other responsibilities at school (i.e. Student government, tutoring, etc.) and I was trying to learn how to be on my own with two kids one of whom was still getting up multiple times a night. I felt drained and frustrated. I felt like everything I did was almost useless because as soon as I cleaned it up someone would mess it back up again.

Here are some examples of my thoughts I would have multiple times a day:

 “How many freaking times do I have to wash this counter off?!?!?”

“Why do I even bother sweeping it gets dirty almost instantly?”

Then I would skip sweeping the floor for a day and realize I why I swept everyday.

“I just can’t seem to get a head!”

I questioned our decision to go to medical school multiple times because sometimes it would be nice to actually see my husband. That’s why I married him!

Then I got sick. I got horribly sick and ended up being hospitalized for several days. When I got home I couldn’t take care of myself let alone my kids. I eventually recovered but it took over two weeks for me to be able to take care of my kids and almost a month for me to feel back up to my normal self. As awful as those weeks were I am grateful for the lessons I learned from it.  Even though I am afraid the stress of those weeks might have sucked two years of the Germs life away (I may have just watched The Princess Bride).

The first lesson I learned was how much I loved being a mom even though I would get frustrated at times. I remember being stuck in the hospital being so sad that I couldn’t hold my babies. Someone else was rocking San-Man to sleep and reading books to Nena. I never yearned to have a normal day where “nothing gets done” more in my life.

The second lesson was how amazing a support system is especially, my ward family. When we moved to Washington I was nervous because I had always lived close to family. When something happened they were the ones that came to help. In Washington it wasn’t going to be that way. My one comfort was knowing that the church was there. I would have a ward family to help. Little did I know how amazing my new ward would be and how grateful I would be to be apart of it. They have welcomed and taken care of us since day one. When I had San-man they took care of Nena for several days and brought us dinner for a week. They provided us with friendship and love. When I was sick they took it to a whole other level. They took care of the kids even bathing and dressing them. They brought meals for several weeks. They checked in on us. Wrapped Nena’s birthday presents, made a birthday cake, and called doctors for me. They even drove me to doctor’s appointments when Justin had school.  This was my first time being utterly helpless and dependent on others (a difficult pill to swallow) and they made sure my family and I wanted for nothing. This generosity and true charity was so humbling that I still get choked up thinking about it. It’s an example I have been trying to emulate.

The third lesson I learned was how important it is that I take care of myself. I realized how truly important my role is in our little family. If I am not functioning my whole family suffers.  The weeks and months before I got sick I was slowly allowing motherhood, medical school, and every other responsibility slowly swallow me up. I was losing myself in it all. I had stopped exercising because an injury caused during San-Mans birth and I was extremely exhausted (later to learn not only was it from multiple night feedings but I was also anemic).  I also wasn’t doing anything that was fun and fulfilling to me. Then I got sick and was forced to take care of myself and focus on what I need. I realized I wasn’t doing anything that fulfilled me as a person and individual. I started simplifying some areas of my life so I could make time for the things I needed. I started to take better care of myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  I have been making more time for exercise (and receiving Physical therapy to help fix the injury), scripture study/listening to talks/meditation, and making time for art. In essence I became more conscious about my life focusing on those things that are most important which includes myself not just my family.

These changes have made a huge difference on how I feel about life and how I would answer the question “how is medical school going.”  Right now I can honestly say medical school is going pretty good. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Let us be Gentle

When I was in kindergarten there was a boy in my class who peed his pants and for years afterword whenever I saw him my first thought would be, “he peed his pants in kindergarten.”  Sadly, I have very few other memories of him. All I can remember is what he looked like, that he was teased a lot in school, that he lived with his grandma, and he moved away before 4th grade but would come back to visit once in a while. As an adult whenever I think of him my heart breaks for that little boy who was treated so unkindly.

 I wasn’t a bully in school and I got a long with pretty much everybody. For the most part I enjoyed school.  With that being said it doesn’t mean I was always the kindest to people or the most understanding, like most school age kids.

Since graduation I have learned more about what some of my fellow classmates had to face while in high school. The loss of a parent(s), their parents going through a vicious divorce, mental illness, drug addiction, sexual abuse, life threatening illnesses, the loss of a sibling, and so on. I wonder how I would have treated my fellow classmates if I had known the struggles and trials they were facing. Would I have been more understanding? Would I have mourned with those who were mourning?  Would I have treated them more gently?  Tried to not to solely define them by an accident they had in kindergarten?  I know my heartaches for the challenges they face now.

So often we become solely focused on our own victories, burdens, and challenges that we forget to look around at what is happening to those around us. We rashly make rude comments too or gossip about people without knowing their full story.  Honestly, we may never know the full story because people only tell you what they want you to know.  This doesn’t mean we can keep tearing people down because we are ignorant of their challenges.  It means we need to start treating others more gently and recognize we are all struggling with challenges seen and unseen.

I will probably never know why that boy lived with his grandma or even why he peed his pants that day in school. But what I can do is start thinking of him as whole person who grows and changes and has trials just like me. I would hate it if someone judged me solely on how I was in high school or when I was getting off some medication that made me feel like I was losing my mind. I would want them to see me for my whole self. My talents, my strengths, my weaknesses, my growth over the years, and the trials I am facing. I would want them to say “Hi” to me at Walmart even if they thought I was a weird cross country runner in high school and recognize I am not that same person.

Me- during my high school cross-country days
Me (currently)- Mom of two and wife to medical student  

I will be doing that likewise.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bear Lake 2014

Over the summer while visiting family in Utah, we decided to go to Bear Lake with my Mom and sisters.  Since we had to drive up through Logan, UT to get to Bear Lake we were forced to stop at Herm’s for breakfast.  Seriously, this one of the best places to eat in Logan and you would be silly to not go there as frequently as possible. My personal favorite is the Greek skillet with steak added to it. I don’t have a pictures of the skillet because my food was devoured so quickly. In addition to the great food is the fun atmosphere; the building is a restored and revamped gas station.

When we finally got to Bear Lake we had a blast playing in the water and sand. We rented stand up paddleboards (SUP) and a kayak. I was introduced to SUP’s a few years ago when The Germ and I were in Hawaii for a few weeks. We found them more fun than surfing because the don't take as long to master. They also add a fun technical challenge to paddling not to mention the great abdominal workout caused be the constant balancing. My mom may or may not have lost a pair of nice sunglasses in the lake after losing her balance on SUP. On a side note have you ever wondered how many keys, sunglasses, and wallets have are sitting at the bottom of the lake?

The day before I cut my hair off!

Samson like the water for a little bit but was mostly content napping on the beach. Sienna loved the sand and liked the water. She only liked the water when it was below her knees and not splashing in her face! The instant the water touched her face she would have a complete meltdown.

showing off his beach bod

Our day was cut short when a big thunderstorm rolled in with such strong winds that everything started blowing away. So we packed up and got a milk shake for the ride home. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Samsonite at 4 months

Samsonite is 4 months! He is really smiley and LOVES "talking" to men with beards! Maybe is has something with the Germ not shaving for the  last 4 1/2 months before he was born. He is a super laid back little man that is regularly sleeping through the night (hallelujah!)  I could kiss his cheeks all day long!

22 months

Peanut is now 22 months. She loves to color, play at the park, help cook, and ride bikes. She is talking up a storm and is so feisty.  While taking her pictures I would ask her to look at the camera, she would reply, "No Mom."

This might be my favorite

Smiling for a fruit snack (yes, we stooped to bribery the last few minutes)

A cute picture of sienna and her Daddy